Bowman Ben

TheDailySail caught up with Ben Ainslie, playing an unfamiliar role at the Investors Guaranty Bermuda Gold Cup
A sight this journalist wasn't expecting to see at last week's Investors Guaranty Bermuda Gold Cup what that of Finn World Champion Ben Ainslie sailing on the bow of Dean Barker's Omega Match Race Team (above). The rumour mill was rife with theories on the significance of this. Following John Kostecki's sudden about turn, apparently on the verge of signing with Team New Zealand one minute, only to commit to joining Oracle BMW Racing's afterguard the next, Team New Zealand are still heavily on a recruiting drive and Ainslie is on their list of possible candidates for a position in the Kiwi team's afterguard. In Bermuda Ainslie was playing this down. "It is not trialling for Team New Zealand. I would hate to think I was on trial anyway! I suppose like a lot of the teams they are looking for people. It is just a chance to come out here and do some different racing." Ainslie says that he knows Barker from their crossover in the Laser class, and the Team New Zealand helm called him to find out if he wanted to race the Bermuda Gold Cup as his team's bowman/tactician. "As you can imagine I was a bit concerned about the bowman thing! But after having just finished the Worlds, and having a bit of time out, I thought it would be great to come out to Bermuda, to do some different racing and catch up with what is happening on the match racing circuit." Taking the bowman role for the first time ever Ainslie inevitably experienced a few teething problems. While the team showed considerable brilliance they were not sailing as consistently as in previous Swedish Match Tour events which Dean Barker put down to the Bermuda Gold Cup being their first non-America's Cup match racing